Friday , Oct , 19 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Hating On Practice: What Kobe Bryant & Allen Iverson Have In Common

I always thought Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant had a lot in common. The Answer and Black Mamba are dynamic scorers, capable of lifting me off my lazy boy with their swooping drives and fade-away jumpers. And I have witnessed first-hand how they polarize NBA fans-some of my friends defend these two All-Stars to the death and others hate them with a fanatical passion that borders on temporary insanity …

I always thought Allen Iverson and had lots in common. The Answer and Black Mamba are dynamic scorers, capable of lifting me off my lazy boy with their swooping drives and fade-away jumpers. And I have witnessed first-hand how they polarize NBA fans-some of my friends defend these two to the death and others hate on them with a passion that borders on insanity. 

Today, I realized Iverson and Bryant have something else in common: a healthy disdain for practice. Yes that thing that occurs between games. Take another look at Iverson eloquently expressing his views on the importance of practice …

Today, Peter Vecsey of the N.Y. Post reports that Phil Jackson banned Bryant from Tuesday’s practice because he was unhappy with his work habits last season:

WAY I hear it, Phil Jack son banned Kobe Bryant from being around the Lakers Tuesday when his petulant VIP – offended that owner Jerry Buss alerted the Los Angeles media he was available in an equitable trade – informed him he wouldn’t be practicing, for the third straight day, because he wanted to rest his legs, knee, bruised ego, whatever.

"I don’t want you riding the exercise bike in front of the team," Jackson hipped Bryant, according to a source. "There’s nothing wrong with your legs. I need you to be part of the team. I need to come to practice and work hard. And I need you to come to games and play defense."

Last season, Inaction Jackson felt Bryant had gotten a little lazy on the sidelines and at practice. In his considered opinion, he and his coaching staff were too easy, too soft on the players, especially Mr. Big Stuff.

This is the first I’ve heard of Bryant slacking in practice. I thought he was like James Brown-you know, the hardest working man in NBA-show-business. Every Kobe commercial shows him lifting, running, and practicing with an intensity that makes Rocky seem lazy.  And yes, that includes Rocky Four, where Balboa trains in the sub-arctic wilderness of Siberia before taking down Drago in Moscow.

If true, this report shows that the dysfunctional have accomplished the impossible-they have broken Bryant’s Type-A spirit. The game’s greatest keener is now a slacker. Great work Dr. Buss. Hopefully, a trade occurs quickly and this saga finally ends.

Do you think Bryant is a bad practice player? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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